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IPL-2023 Second Qualifier: Defending champions Gujarat take on Mumbai Indians in Ahmedabad

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Ahmedabad will be the venue for the second qualifier match of IPL-2023 in a thrilling battle between defending champions Gujarat Taitan Mumbai Indians. Cricket lovers are eagerly waiting to see which of the two equally important teams will reach the final.

CSK, who have already reached the final, is predicting the win or loss of the second qualifier match. Today the match will start from 7.30 pm.

 In the land of traders, Ahmedabad, it’s Hardik Pandya who holds the trade secrets of his opposite number.

A product of Mumbai Indians, Hardik has carved his own legacy as a successful leader with Gujarat Titans, and taken them to back-to-back playoffs in two seasons. But is that enough to halt a rampaging Mumbai Indians, a team that has given no due to its own pain and losses en route yet another dash towards the IPL final?

How much would those trade secrets really matter in Friday’s Qualifier 2? After all, in playoffs, Mumbai Indians have historically presented their best version – winning 9 out of 10 times. Moreover, they are the only team to beat Gujarat Titans more than once. Most importantly, they find themselves here against the league table-toppers in the penultimate clash of the season despite a shaky start and the absence of key personnels.

Only a week ago, Shane Bond, Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach, was livid and in no mood to hide his frustration following Mumbai Indians’ loss against Lucknow Super Giants in the league phase. The bowlers were not sticking to their plans, he complained. The fact that their attack was handicapped by the absence of two most important investments – Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah – was no excuse according to him.

Their younger lot has turned up. Akash Madhwal may not cover up for the absence of Bumrah and Archer, but his drastic improvement has eased a bit of Mumbai Indians’ worries. His economy rate in the powerplay (7.25) and death overs (7.26) has allowed the foreign pacers – Jason Behrendorff and Chris Jordan – to operate freely in their more specialised roles.

Add to that the batting muscle that Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera have added to its line-up, and the five-time champions have been able to forge a team that can hunt down big totals as well as bowl out oppositions, much like Titans

Pacers have had more success in Ahmedabad than any other venue this season, and if MI’s non-fancied opening bowlers – who have improved significantly in the second half of the tournament – are able to dismiss the top-order early, they could pose a stiff challenge.

Both teams have the resources as well as the confidence of doing well in pressure games. Both teams like to present a picture of calm. It’s a live Friday blockbuster marked and promised.

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